Ryder Cup rookies Thomas Pieters and Chris Wood target KLM Open

The pair both tee off tomorrow at the course designed by Colin Montgomerie

BY Cian Roche 18:29 Wednesday 7 September 2016, 18:29 7 Sep 2016

All eyes will be on Thomas Pieters and Chris Wood tomorrow at the KLM Open in the Netherlands as the pair face off for the first time since becoming Ryder Cup team-mates.

Belgian Pieters was named as one of captain Darren Clarke's wild card picks, while Chris Wood earned one of eight automatic places on the team.

Europe feature six rookies in their team to face the US at Hazeltine, as Davis Love III looks to secure a first victory for the States since 2008. Europe have won six of the last seven events.

"I guess it started at the Olympics," Pieters told Nick Dye of his newfound form. "It was a dream to get a medal and to get that close was very disappointing.

"I flew straight to the Czech [Republic] to defend my title [D+D REAL Czech Masters] and I came second there. That was also very disappointing. In the past month it's actually been great result-wise but there's actually been a lot of lows. 

"Finishing second is the worst place to finish I think, when you really want something that bad. To win in Denmark [Made In Denmark] was brilliant. The way I closed it, I was really proud of myself. 

"On the Monday after that I knew I'd get a call be it good or bad news and when the phone rang I was really, really nervous. When Darren told me I was going to Hazeltine I didn't speak for 30 seconds, I was just speechless."

Chris Wood [left] celebrates winning the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth Club earlier this year. Image: Steve Paston / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Wood also acknowledged that despite occupying one of the automatic qualifying berths, he was still nervous of the players around him until his spot was assured.

"I was in the team but I was unable to play. So you're looking at guys every week thinking 'well if they do this then they can get closer to me'. 

"That's no good. Before the injury I was just cruising along, gaining points every week really. When it's out of your hands and you are injured like that it's quite stressful. Thankfully I was far enough ahead to make the team."


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